The Religious Education curriculum taught at All Saints is based on the Awakenings Curriculum, set out by the Catholic Education Office for the Diocese of Ballarat. Students across all years levels participate in formal instruction that is inclusive and engaging to all students regardless of faith background or belief. We believe that through dialogue and reflection, all students can recognise the presence of God in their lives, share in the Catholic Church’s mission of communicating the message of Jesus Christ to those they meet and grow as active, thoughtful and compassionate citizens of the world.
Our curriculum is designed to share the values, beliefs and practices of the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church. Students are given opportunities to engage with tradition and the core Catholic teachings, as well as examining the way we can apply these values to today’s context.
We believe that the Christian faith permeates all aspects of our school life and is evident in all subject areas and in the way we respectfully encounter others.
The Awakenings curriculum used the pedagogical approach of Shared Christian Praxis. It promotes an approach to teaching and learning that encourages dialogue with one another and with the world around us. It seeks to understand and present the Catholic faith in the context of our current society. The focus of Shared Chrsitian Praxis is to allow the student to develop as a whole learner, one who thinks, feels, decides and acts. Students are encouraged to begin by reflecting and thinking about their own way of life and worldview. Through learning opportunities and engagements, students are then presented with Christian scripture and tradition as a means of stimulating thought, dialogue and possibly a change in heart. Students are invited to respond in a new or deeper practice of knowing, acting and relating to the world.
Students engage with the message of Jesus Christ and the example taught by his life in a way that encourages them to develop symbolic belief. Bible stories are taught with an interpretive approach, providing opportunities for students to examine how the life of Jesus strengthens their faith in God and how they can apply the message to their own lives.
Participating in Catholic traditions
An integral part of our Religious Education is Prayer, Reflection, Scripture and Liturgies. As a school, we attend mass for special occasions and feast days with parishioners at All Saints Parish Church or in the School Hall. Many secular events such as Harmony Day, Grandparents Day and Graduation are also recognised at All Saints by gathering together and celebrating with a liturgy.
Students are invited to participate in daily prayer in classrooms and at the beginning of school assemblies. We have a labyrinth which is utilised for prayer and reflection. Over their time at All Saints, students will become familiar with traditional prayers and develop confidence in leading prayer gatherings for their classmates and teachers. Song is often a feature of prayer time.
An important component of our Religious Education curriculum is the teaching of the Catholic Social Teachings and raising the students’ awareness of issues of social justice in their community and beyond. We use the Catholic Social Teachings described by Caritas as the principles for developing the students’ understanding of how they can be active individuals who can support those in need and make a difference in the world. Students are encouraged to be stewards of creation, ensure fairness and equality, work for the common good, especially giving consideration to the poor and ensure that each and every person has their human dignity maintained.
Students are encouraged to take an interest in addressing social issues where they see injustice occurring. We participate in a range of efforts to raise awareness and understanding of the needs of others, with many of our fundraising efforts contributing to those addressing social issues. Students investigate ways that they can contribute and take practical action, and are encouraged to do what they can to make the world a better place for everyone.
Students of the Catholic faith are invited to participate in the Parish Sacramental Program. In Year 3 students prepare and receive the Sacrament of Penance for thefirst time. Students are then initiated into the Church through the Sacrament of Confirmation (Year 4) and become full members of the Church with the Sacrament of Eucharist (Year 5). These Sacraments are received after children participate with their parents in Parish masses and dismissals. During daily Religious Education lessons, all students complete units of the Awakenings Curriculum that supports the sacramental program.
Non-Catholic students are included in the sacramental preparation programs at school providing valuable support and contributions to the dialogue about the meaning of the teachings of Jesus Christ in today’s social context.